From Sunday's Tribune:
Taxpayers face €13m bill from 38 military mental-stress cases
Now I don't envy their job when sent abroad on peacekeeping duty but what do they expect to see when they sign up for army life? The army deafness claims already are said to have cost the taxpayer close to 300 million. While there are only 38 cases seeking compensation for post-traumatic stress at the moment, potentially costing €13m plus legal fees, is there not a danger that number could skyrocket?A TOTAL of 38 Defence Forces personnel are taking cases against the government for post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing deaths, injuries or gun battles while on overseas duty.
A number of soldiers have already successfully sued the state for damages, with one former private getting more than €300,000 in damages.
If all 38 of those involved in suits for post-traumatic stress were successful, the bill for the taxpayer could be as high as €13m, which would not include legal fees.
However, the Department of Defence appears determined to vigorously contest all claims and has already taken steps to have 10 cases dismissed, it has confirmed.
A statement said: "[The] department currently has approximately 38 personal injury claims primarily alleging post-traumatic stress disorder arising from service abroad.
Is it not the same thing as doctors and nurses seeking compensation from the HSE for distressing sights they've experienced in hospitals? Or ambulance drivers called to accident scenes? Similarly gardaí? Or firemen?
Have these soldiers any case here for financial compensation? Personally I don't think they have and should consider and start preparing for an alternative career in the long run. In the meantime I believe genuine cases should be excused from further peacekeeping duty, where possible, and should have relevant counselling provided and assistance with training for alternative employment.